Until now, you may have been planning, developing and sharing content with your targeted online users to build brand awareness, influence purchase decisions, and drive revenue, and you may have been fairly successful. But with so many businesses from almost every industry investing in content marketing these days, you might be wondering how you can stand out from the competition. This guide will enlighten you about why content marketing is more relevant in 2021 than ever before.
While the fundamentals of content marketing remain the same, new techniques and trends emerge every year that alter the approaches businesses adopt to reach out and impress potential customers. As long as you adapt your content marketing strategy to those trends, there’s no reason for you to not realize the extraordinary benefits of content marketing in 2021 and beyond.
Reasons Why Content Marketing Is Relevant in 2021
Some of the top reasons why content marketing is relevant in 2021 include:
Content Fosters Quicker Decisions
In today’s fast-paced digital business landscape, no sales team would want to wait months before completing a conversion. Content marketing is the answer to encouraging quicker decision-making. Well-developed content builds positive brand reputation, and establishes trust among target audiences. According to a study by Content Marketing Institute, recommendations on blog content drove 61% of purchase decisions in the US.
We already know how client testimonials on websites and case studies about previous successes with customers drive purchase decisions. When a site visitor learns that the business often drives success, chances are they’ll make a favorable decision sooner than otherwise. It’s no wonder that sections like “Client Testimonials”, “Past Projects”, and “Gallery” have become a standard for websites. Be sure to make one or more of such sections part of your content marketing strategy.
It’s the Year of Virtual Connection
After the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, lifestyles are never the same. With medical experts still recommending social distancing practices, people crave digital connections like never before. Even when exploring products or services online, users prefer to find real people that interact and educate them about their offerings.
While audience interaction on websites is not a new phenomenon, the aforementioned scenario only accelerates the trend of interactive websites. By adding content that users can interact with, websites are already delivering excellent user experiences and attracting web traffic. Hence, if you want to develop a successful, conversion-oriented website in 2021, you’ll need to adapt to the changing needs of online users. If they want to engage, create a website with content that keeps them engaged.
What you’re probably thinking is what type of content will keep site visitors engaged? Some content options include quizzes, customized product specs, forms, personalized product suggestions, and most importantly, videos and animated pictures.
Videos, in particular, help people feel more connected to businesses or brands. They have proved highly popular among online users, which is why one of the most effective ways to interact and educate users is through live streaming on social media or webcasting. When you allow users to get to know your brand and team better, your business leads will soon increase. All you need to do is log into your YouTube Live, Facebook, or Instagram, and start broadcasting business announcements, webinars, product launches, or Q&A sessions. You may also edit and re-use the live broadcasts as video marketing content on your website or social networks.
Improves SEO Performance
Creating and adding high-quality, original content to your website will continue to improve its search ranking on Google and other search engines in 2021 and beyond, thereby driving more traffic to your website. When you update content on your website and social media profile pages, your brand’s position in organic search. On top of that, content provides you with an opportunity to rank for more keywords.
As long as the keywords are relevant, and the competition for them is not overly high, your website should receive enormous levels of qualified web traffic. When we say “qualified”, we mean that your site will attract people who’re genuinely interested in what you sell and will thus be most likely to convert.
Moving forward, when search engines notice that people are spending more time navigating webpages on your site, they’ll assume that your content is genuinely delivering value to users and your site offers an impressive user-experience. So, they’ll put your site further up on SERPs. With the right content placement, headings, and subheadings, your website information may even appear in Google’s featured snippet as direct answers to users’ queries.
Helps Gain More Traction on Social Media
Many business websites have an incredible amount of following on social media, but fail to gain much traction. The underlying reason being that their site lacks trendy content. If this sounds like you, start leveraging content marketing for your social media marketing strategy. While we’ll take a look at the most popular content marketing trends for 2021 later in the guide, let’s explore some content marketing ideas for your social media marketing strategy:
- Hosting a challenge related to your product or service
- Creating a tutorial or how-to guide
- Making a Meme
- Sharing Behind-the-scenes videos
- Organizing a poll
- Showcase user-generated content
- Seeking advice from followers
- Introducing members of your team
- Sharing a teaser for an upcoming release or product drop
- Sharing hacks or secrets with your audience
Sharp Increase in Leads and Conversions
Well-written content with the right call to action (CTA) placements greatly improve lead generation. When creating free, useful information for your target audience, be sure to place CTAs where they’ll be easily seen. Make the most out of colors to highlight the CTA buttons such as “Sign Up”, “Obtain a Free Quote”, and so on. When including a CTA somewhere between the text, don’t forget to add a hyperlink to it, so that it’s easily seen and facilitates the performance of the action. But again, whether or not a user chooses to click a CTA will depend on how valuable your content is.
Similarly, content marketing influences conversion rates. Not only does it help your audience connect with you but also provides them with the information they need to make rational purchase decisions. Even if a user is highly impressed with your brand, products or services, it’s important to tell them exactly what they should do next. When accompanied by CTAs, your content will lead to a dramatic increase in conversions too.
Now that you know why content writing services are more relevant in 2021 than ever before, it’s time to take a look at some of the content marketing trends for the year:
Three Content Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2021
By now, you should have grasped the value of content marketing in developing brand presence, increasing user engagement, and driving sales. But within content marketing, practices continue to evolve based on the needs and preferences of online users. To reap the true benefits of content marketing in 2021, try to adapt your business to the following three content marketing trends:
An Increased Focus on Content Experience
No one wants to be redirected to blog posts covered in annoying ad panels and pop-ups, simply because they significantly lower the content experience for users. If you’ve seen a page like that, chances are you closed it without reading a word. On the other hand, many of us are compelled to checkout one of the stories listed in the end with catchy titles.
Therefore, it’s not enough to take into account what content users are attracted to. You also need to account for how they’re interacting with your content. Realizing this, more and more marketers are going to focus on content experience. The shift directly relates to users’ need for interactive content that we talked about in the last section. Thus, anyone who wants to drive or maximize ROI for their content will need to adapt to this key content marketing trend.
But how exactly do you improve the content experience? It’s important to understand that whatever you choose to do should make users love what you’re writing, stay on your site for longer, find what they need, and enter a sales funnel. An effective way to do this is to create content silo pages that contain not only text, but also podcast episodes, courses, videos, webinars, and strategically placed CTAs on webpages. All these will combine to provide users with an impressive content experience.
Dramatic Growth in Podcasts
Creating content that converts is extremely important in content marketing. The rise of podcasts is a popular content marketing trend to watch out for in 2021. There’s a reason why corporate giants like Spotify and Apple are heavily investing in audio platforms and podcasts. In the past three years, there has been a 60% increase in the number of podcasts heard in the US. By 2023, the market for podcasts is all set to exceed $2 billion, which is why marketers are expected to dedicate a lot of money and time to the channel.
You might be wondering why this type of content is proving so popular among online users. The major reason being that it has something for everyone. With more than 70,000 new episodes available every day, finding an episode that matches a user’s interest is quite easy. Plus, podcasts sound like a conversation between the hosts and the listener. Being talked to feels more natural and human to podcast listeners. As a result, many listeners actually enjoy hearing ads on podcasts and these people are more likely to make a purchase of the featured product than others.
Hence, if you continue to invest in content marketing in 2021 and beyond, try to make the most out of podcasts. A time will come when they’ll position your business as an industry leader, portraying you and your people as thought leaders. You’ll not only be speaking authentically but the channel will also gain an opportunity to be listened to globally.
Content marketers of the 2021 will stop interrupting what people want to see, and choose to rather become what appeals to people. This means their focus will shift to providing content that’s contextually relevant to users’ interests and deliver it at the right time.
Many eCommerce websites are already relying on artificial intelligence (AI)-based tools to track shopper activity to understand their behaviors, desires, likes, and needs, and offer product recommendations based on them. In 2021 and beyond, the entire content marketing strategies are likely to be customized to specific brand personas, whether it’s about posting content on websites, social media pages or other platforms.
After going through this guide, you must be excited to invest more in content marketing in 2021 and shape your content strategy based on the aforementioned trends. While updating your content strategy for the next year, use content that does more for your brand without utilizing too many resources. Focus on understanding your target audience, using the right channels to reach them, and creating content that converts by making it personalized.
We truly hope that your 2021 content strategy helps your business achieve skyrocketing business growth.
John Anders is a highly accomplished copywriter working in the digital marketing space, specializing in high-quality content marketing and content writing services.